Re: Ovarian cancer...
I'm so sorry to hear about your mom, I understand how scary things are
right now. I hope I can help you understand what is going on.
Ovarian cancer, and I think all cancers, are categorized in four stages.
Each stage has 3 sub-stages, like stage 1A,1B,1C-2A 2B 2C, etc.
I know it might sound confusing, but hopefully a doctor will help you
to understand. A detailed description of the different stages follows.
I hope they can make sense.
But first here's a little about myself...
I was diagnosed with stage 3C ovarian cancer in December 2005. Because of
it's subtle symptoms many women are in stage 3C by the time they are
diagnosed. If your mom is in stage 2, that's good. But even if it's progressed
further there is alot that can be done. I had a hysterectomy and had
part of my colon removed and a few other things I didn't even know I had.
I started chemotherapy a few weeks later. I had 2 kinds of chemo for 6
months every three weeks and then I has another one every 4 weeks for
12 months. I know it's sounds like alot, but you'd be surprised what you can
get use to. I finished chemo in April of 2007 and have been cancer free
since then. This is a serious illness, but it can be treated. I'm pleased that
I was able to deal with it and that I feel as good as I do now.
I've learned that life is precious and needs to be lived in the present. I don't
have time for worries or regrets.
Stay in touch and let me know how your mom is doing. I'm sure it will help
her to know you there for her. Be brave, there is alot that can be done
What the stages of ovarian cancer means
Stage 1: The cancer is still contained within the ovary (or ovaries).
Stage 1A: Cancer has developed in one ovary, and the tumor is confined to the inside of the ovary. There is no cancer on the outer surface of the ovary. Laboratory examination of washings from the abdomen and pelvis did not find any cancer cells.
Stage 1B: Cancer has developed within both ovaries without any tumor on their outer surfaces. Laboratory examination of washings from the abdomen and pelvis did not find any cancer cells.
Stage 1C The cancer is present in one or both ovaries and one or more of the following are present:
Cancer on the outer surface of at least one of the ovaries
In the case of cystic tumors (fluid-filled tumors), the capsule (outer wall of the tumor) has ruptured (burst)
Laboratory examination found cancer cells in fluid or washings from the abdomen.
Stage 2: The cancer is in one or both ovaries and has involved other organs (such as the uterus, fallopian tubes, bladder, the sigmoid colon, or the rectum) within the pelvis.
Stage 2A The cancer has spread to or has actually invaded (grown into) the uterus or the fallopian tubes, or both. Laboratory examination of washings from the abdomen did not find any cancer cells.
Stage 2B: The cancer has spread to other nearby pelvic organs such as the bladder, the sigmoid colon, or the rectum. Laboratory examination of fluid from the abdomen did not find any cancer cells.
Stage 2C: The cancer has spread to pelvic organs as in stages IIA or IIB and laboratory examination of the washings from the abdomen found evidence of cancer cells.
Stage 3: The cancer involves one or both ovaries, and one or both of the following are present: (1) cancer has spread beyond the pelvis to the lining of the abdomen; (2) cancer has spread to lymph nodes.
Stage 3A: During the staging operation, the surgeon can see cancer involving the ovary or ovaries, but no cancer is grossly visible in the abdomen and the cancer has not spread to lymph nodes. However, when biopsies are checked under a microscope, tiny deposits of cancer are found in the lining of the upper abdomen.
Stage 3B: There is cancer in one or both ovaries, and deposits of cancer large enough for the surgeon to see, but smaller than 2 cm (about 3/4 inch) across, are present in the abdomen. Cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes.
Stage 3C: The cancer is in one or both ovaries, and one or both of the following are present:
Cancer has spread to lymph nodes
Deposits of cancer larger than 2 cm (about 3/4 inch) across are seen in the abdomen (T3c, N0, M0).
Stage IV: This is the most advanced stage of ovarian cancer. In this stage the cancer has spread to the inside of the liver, the lungs, or other organs located outside of the peritoneal cavity. (The peritoneal cavity, or abdominal cavity is the area enclosed by the peritoneum, a. membrane that lines the inner abdomen and covers most of its organs.).